Thursday, February 27, 2014

Using My Journal to Ask the Universe...

I'm a huge proponent of asking for what I want/need.  In my opinion, it's the best way to ensure my needs are better being met.  And...even if my requests are denied or not totally fulfilled, I know I have at least asked. What about the stuff you really can't ask any specific person or group to support you with?  For example, achieving a successful resolution to a problem or how to handle a difficult decision...

As of late, I've begun using my journal to help me in clarifying what it is I seek and in writing the "ask" out right there--on the pages.  Truly, it enables me to more mindfully process my needs and my requests. It's a process of reinforcing my ask in my thoughts; then, on the paper.

What's most amazing is that (at some point), after making my "ask," I'll often realize how I need to proceed, or the matter somehow works out in a way I can accept.  Does everything always proceed exactly as I'd like? No, but I'm realizing that my "challenges" are not only first world--they could always be far worse than they are!

 Blazer: Peace of Cloth (best bargain ever!)
Scarf: Local Boutique Purchase
Sweater: Zara
Leather Pencil Skirt: Thrifted (Vintage Vogue, Bloomington, IN)
Boots: Nine West
Bangle: MNG by Mango
Pendant: Tiffany (Vintage via Etsy)
Sunnies: Dollar Tree
Belt: Urban Outfitters

Do you, too, know the power of "the ask?" Share the deets!

Joy and peace, T.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Self-Nurturing Rules of the Road...

Last Saturday afternoon, I indulged in a much-needed pedi at a nearby salon.  Monday eve, post a busy day at the office, I ventured downtown for a massage that had been gifted to me by my youngest son.  These practices (no doubt) nurture me--both in body and spirit.

Self-nurturing isn't just about heading to a salon, though.  Nope, self-nurturing means mindfully experiencing things that give me joy and serve me well...

For example, there's the contemplative time I enjoy in the mornings with java and journal in hand.  And, those instances (all throughout the day) when I mindfully use my breath to relax and center myself.  Of course, the gift of time in nature (even a short walk in the neighborhood after dinner) is always a pampering pleasure...

Thing is... There's far too many practices I consider as "self-nurturing" to even begin sharing them here in this blog post.  The important thing to impart is that self-nurturing need not cost anything, it should be engaged in daily, and must be personally life-giving.

 Faux Fur Coat: Ann Taylor (consigned)
Sweater: Vintage
Jeans: Bitten/Sarah Jessica Parker
Pumps: Nine & Co.
Sunnies: Nine West
Handbag: Kate Spade
Gloves: Coach (vintage via Etsy)

What's your definition of self-nurturing?  How have you recently nurtured yourself?

Joy and peace, T.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Taking Time for Realizations...

Late Friday afternoon, sitting at my workplace desk, I pored over the coming week's calendar; looking over various deadlines, meetings and other calendared commitments.  Then, it hit me...

The last week of February has arrived.  March will soon be upon us.

March (to me) means the official arrival of spring, the emergence of tulips in my gardens, the first evidence budding of trees, the possibility of a few warmer days and the hope of more comfortable walks outdoors.  Sometimes, in the busyness of my world, I forget to stop and realize what's right before me.  It's good to slow down and take account of what's before me--to look forward to, give gratitude for and savor (here and now).

There's an old saying about March: "In like a lion; out like a lamb."  Well, February's putting up quite a fight as she goes down...

You see, these pics were taken last Friday evening.  It was beyond windy outdoors that day. And, this week, the polar vortex is rumored to reemerge.  I smile, though; realizing March will be here soon...

Button-down Blouse: Forever 21
Wrap Blouse: Michael Kors (consigned)
Scarf Worn as Belt: Albert Napon (consigned)
Gloves: Target
Handbag: Fossil
Boots: Nine West
Pencil Skirt: Macy's
Necklace: Vintage (and consigned)
Sunnies: Firmoo

If you haven't taken pause for realization as of late, I'd highly recommend it.  If you have, I'd adore hearing about it!

Joy and peace, T.

BTW...I'm linking to Two Birds' blog on Monday--along with others donning black attire...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

An Exercise in Self Back Patting...

Pull out your journal and pat yourself on the back...

If there's one muscle that too many of us don't work enough, it's the one that's used to pat ourselves on the back.  In the spirit of choosing self-celebration over taking oneself for granted, I sat down with my beloved journal and mused over a few questions (designed to help work that muscle used to pat myself on the back...).  With the hopes others might enjoy using them to do the same (smile), thought I'd share my questions and answers...

Q: What skill have I recently mastered?  

A: I've gotten quite adept at the art of doing my own manicures.  It's taken a bit of time and patience on my part, but I'm no longer worried about painting "outside the lines."  As I let go of my need for perfection, I became more confident in my own ability to do what needed to be done.  That sense of self-assuredness has resulted in nails I'm actually quite proud to sport!

Q: What am I proud to share with others?

A: My latest thrift shop purchase; yup, it's the fab Talbot's top featured above (will show more in a future post).  I'm proud of my ability to find quality pieces at extremely affordable prices (which means I'm being budget savvy, too).  Add to that, I celebrate my ability to don something that's reused as it's the planet friendly thing to do.

Q: What overcome challenge am I most excited about right now?

A: Being able to speak up and solicit assistance from others (resulting in something that's going to benefit my community). A few years ago, speaking up and asking for help from others was something I just didn't do too much of (hence, my excitement).

Q: What do I most want to tell myself "Bravo" for doing (as of late)?

A: Easily choosing to do what was right when others might not agree with my decision. Could it be the "need to please" has gone south?!?

Watercolor painting of mine (April 2012)

Now, it's your turn! Share with me at least one thing you've recently done that you are so very proud of.  It will make my day!

Joy and peace, T.

Oh...and the photos throughout this post--I'm proud to say I took them all!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What I'm Looking Forward To...

I'm all for living in the present--savoring and enjoying the "here and now."  Nevertheless, I've always believed in the importance of always having something to look forward to, too...

Last night, we received nearly an added half foot of snow--here in northwest Ohio.  Great time for a bit of "what I'm looking forward to" thinking, huh?!?  Here goes...

Amidst a long (long, long) winter, I'm looking forward to (this week) is successfully wrapping a bow around several (somewhat challenging) workplace projects, Friday evening's date night, Saturday morning's breakfast out, and a day that the temps rise past the freezing mark (Yay!).

In the next few weeks and months, I can't wait to see the first sign of my tulips emerging in my home gardens, a long weekend away with Mark in celebration of our upcoming anniversary, and precious time visiting our grown children (both who live out of state).  I know as the cold wanes and the snow + ice melts, all these treasures await me...

You see... Every day, life presents me with so very much to look forward to.  Most of it is simple stuff.  Yet, it is all so very special: a tea break during a busy work day, breakfast while looking out onto my back yard, a good laugh with one of my loved ones...

Sweater: Sportables (vintage)
Vest: Sigrid Olsen (vintage)
Belt: Banana Republic
Jeans: Calvin Klein
Black + White Pearl Pendant: Gifted
Handbag: Tommy Hilfiger
Sneakers: Converse
Sunnies: Vera Bradley

What are you looking forward to?  Would love to hear about it!

Joy & peace, T.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How I'm Finding Balance This President's Day...

This Monday, a sacred gift of an added day off (via the Presidents' Day holiday) lies before me.  Great time to do something truly exciting, right?

Well... I'm doing something that's literally calling me--nothing.  Okay, maybe I'll do something; it will be relaxing, though...

No doubt; I'll journal, play with my dear adopted shelter pet, sip tea while watching more snow fall...  Maybe I'll watch an old movie--or two (here, at home)... Who knows (Smile...)?

You see, after a couple of weeks' worth of daily back-to-back meetings + another week with the same commitments before me + an enjoyable (yet, super-busy) weekend that just concluded (Valentine's Day date night, volunteering at a local WinterFest event that benefits our town's Zonta Club, and attendance at a Saturday night Fire N Ice gala fundraiser for the County's chapter of the American Red Cross), I need to hole up for a day and unwind, rest up a bit...

Yes... The outfit featured is what I wore to Saturday night's event.  I paired together several faves already in the closet (Yay for sensible styling!).

Wool Dress: Michael Kors (vintage via Etsy)
Lace Jacket: Purchased at a small-town boutique along Lake Erie 
Tights: Simply Vera Wang via Kohl's
Booties: Nine West
Statement Necklace: Jennifer Lopez via Kohl's
Diamond Earrings: Gifted

Tell me... How do you find balance in your busy life?  

BTW...I'm linking on Monday to the Two Birds' blog. Check it out to possibly see others donning fave booties along with tights there, too...

Joy and peace! T.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Creative Style: Making Winter More Fun

Amidst the snow and frigid temps, I thought it a good time to recycle a few photos from recent posts...  The purpose of doing so is to present a way to make a long, cold winter a bit more (well...) fun...

In the last few years, I've learned to treat my outerwear (hat, gloves, scarf, coat or jacket) as part of my overall outfit.  Not that everything has to match perfectly; rather, my goal is to blend it all together--as seamlessly as possible.

You see... To me, dressing (each day) is an opportunity to stretch my creative muscles a bit...One intention I have for 2014 is to more mindfully use my creative gifts.  Doing so via dress presents me the opportunity to do so daily.

Plus, here in northwest Ohio, winter is getting (um...) a bit--old.  Pulling together creative ways to blend my outerwear together with my daily outfit makes it all a scad more...bearable (smile).

For those who are enjoying summer right now... Well, hopefully, this post will somehow inspire you with a way to use your creative gifts to combat the winter blahs--should your season be one like ours, here.

My tips for building a winter coat collection are found in this past post. My thoughts on creative expression via dress are available in this past post.

What about you? Do you find that creative expression via dress brings you joy and lets you share your authentic self with others?

Joy and peace! T.